The Brides
Thursdays through Saturdays
March 30 - April 29, 2000 at 8pm
(Special BCT performance on Sunday April 16 at 7pm)
$10.00 Reservations (310) 281-8337
660 N. Heliotrope etc.

Three interpretations...
Directed by
 Gerald McClanahan, Pogo Saito and Blake Williams

Produced by
Donna Tina Charles
with Denise Barnard & Pussies With Pens

Shirley Anderson, Tina Ballabio, Stephanie Bell, Dean Cameron, Matt Duggan, Tabatha Hall, Jeff Lorch, Jessie Marion, Scott McShane, AK Paxton, Amy Raasch, Ramona Ramirez, Florence Regina, Deena Rubinson, Jessica Schroeder, Christienne Wadsworth, Donovan Williams, Jennifer Wu, Jonathan Zatland

Shepherd: Bil Garrity
Set Designer: Zachary J. Rau
Light Designer: Michael Rainey
Sound Designer: David Rodwin
Costume Designer: Amy Bryson
Stage Manager: Denise Barnard
Sound Board Operator: Chris Hart


LA WEEKLY *Recommended

Women’s dreams and disenchantments are the substance of Harry Kondoleon’s eloquent poetic narrative. His heroine is the universal bride, a trusting, anxious naïf who yearns for love but is repeatedly betrayed by a controlling, sexually capricious groom. Quintessentially female in perspective, this compelling 40-minute tapestry of a text unwinds with lilt and metaphor, while bereft of delineated roles or characters. Its format offers broad scope for stylistic interpretation, an opportunity boldly seized by Sacred Fools Theater Company, which offers three renditions, presented consecutively in one evening and directed by Pogo Saito, Gerald McClanahan and Blake Williams, respectively. Saito’s concept, featuring a white-garbed, finely choreographed all-female cast serves Kondoleon’s poetry and metaphysics best. Jessica Schroeder portrays the male voices with striking swagger, and Donna Tina Charles’ background film (projecting images of medieval maidens and knights on horseback) sharpens the irony. McClanahan’s campier staging hints of MGM and takes place in a women’s spa, while Williams’ somewhat contrived and awkward version transpires among a coven of ‘60s hippies. The latter two both have a unique tone and color — their mixed-gender ensembles are generally strong, with the male performers notably intensifying the play’s sexual dynamic.

- Deborah Klugman


It's a fascinating conceit: looking at the same tone poem from three radically different perspectives, with three different directors. Harry Kondoleon's script-about abandonment and settling down-uses rich language and images, and addresses with a great deal of sensitivity much of the ambivalence many women have about marriage and getting a husband. All of the three different concepts are certainly well-justified and two are particularly good. The performances across the board are excellent. The execution of the technical elements and the stagecraft are similarly excellent.

The second presentation, directed by Gerald McClanahan, would have made a much better opening, as it is set someplace concrete: a woman's spa. Whether it actually moves faster, or whether familiarity speeds things up, is impossible to say. Nonetheless, the give and take of the four brides (clients) with the four grooms (masseurs and other attendants) plays up the richness of the language and the humor in the piece without undermining the piece's depth.

Zachary J. Rau's set is a marvel, with essentially the same set turned into three very different settings. Michael Rainey's lighting is amazing, whether backlighting panels for silhouettes or working around some film projection. Costumes, by Amy Bryson, are good, with some wonderful spa dresses for the second presentation and some truly horrible wigs for the hippie section.

- Deborah Klugman